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Posted by on Jan 7, 2011 in Business, Featured | 5 comments

The 15 Most Hated Companies in America

The 15 Most Hated Companies in AmericaThe US-based news and opinion magazine The Atlantic recently compiled a list of the 15 Most Hated Companies in America. And that’s not my expression. The authors don’t refer to these companies as ‘the most disliked’ at all – nope, this is definitely ‘most hated’.

Whilst a list such as this is always going to be slanted towards large consumer service type organisations that have significant customers bases (telecoms companies, airlines, banks, etc.), the authors do not rely solely on customer criticism. Explaining the methodology used to create the list they clarify that they investigated a large number of different areas in determining their final list of 15:

Employee opinions, using research firm Glassdoor and other services, were reviewed. We considered total return to shareholders in comparison to the broader market and other companies within the same sector. We analyzed data from a broad array of sources, including Consumer Reports, JD Power, the MSN/Zogby Poll, and the University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index. We reviewed brand valuation changes based on data from Corebrand, Interbrand, and BrandZ. We considered negative press coverage based on 24/7 Wall St.’s analysis of media coverage and the Flame Index, which uses a proprietary algorithm to review more than 12,000 websites and ranks companies based on the frequency of certain negative words. Finally, the views of these firms by taxpayers, Congress, and the administration were considered where applicable.

Using these information sources they then compiled the list based on rankings of six criteria: (1) employee opinions; (2) return to shareholders; (3) customer surveys; (4) brand valuation; (5) press coverage; and (6) public opinion.

Here then, in purely alphabetical order is the list of the (presently) 15 Most Hated Companies in America:

  • American Airlines
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Best Buy
  • BP
  • Charter Communications
  • Citigroup
  • Dell
  • DirecTV
  • Dish Network
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • McDonald’s
  • Nokia
  • Toyota
  • United Airlines

I think the development of a similar list for South African organisations would be an interesting exercise. Let’s start by asking our readers to give us their own Most Hated Company in South Africa nominees in the comments below…


  1. How many can I nominate?
    Vodacom, Telkom, Mango/SAA, Edgars are top of my hate list at the moment. But it changes regularly…

  2. Telkom, Multichoice/DSTV

  3. Those money grabbing shits at Discovery Health and the swine at the banks (all of them, but Standard Bank especially) need to be outed as the most despicable corporate entities in existence in South Africa. Sons of Bitches the lot of them! About time the Consumer Protection Act and the Competition Board look into their ridiculous near-criminal charges, fees and the non-existent service that consumers get given to them by these anti-South African development companies. And sommer add the Advertising Standards Authority to that list – their marketing is all lies!

  4. Does Telkom count as ‘company’? due to it being parastatal?

    I think 8.ta should go on the list even though it is new. Their service and customer assistance is terrible indeed. The worst!

  5. I would like to see NEOTEL on the list….just under TELKOM……


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